South River Trail deemed 'excellent'

CONYERS - The Atlanta Regional Commission recognized the Rockdale South River Trail Project as one of the developments of excellence in the area of environmental sustainability for 2007.

The ARC's CREATE Community Awards were established to recognize local government leadership and innovation in developing projects designed to enhance the quality of life for communities.

Rockdale County Commission Chairman Roy Middlebrooks said he was pleased to see the project being recognized.

"The South River Trail is a quality-of-life project that will provide many benefits to our citizens," Middlebrooks said. "Not only will it result in the protection of 1,000 acres of greenspace in Rockdale County, it is providing residents with numerous recreational and educational opportunities."

The South River Trail Project is a 13-mile greenway and multi-use trail that follows the South River from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit to a connection with the Arabia Mountain Trail.

The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area became a part of the National Park System by an act of Congress in 2006.

A number of public and private entities, ranging from the PATH Foundation to private citizen donations, have helped move the project forward.

"We really appreciate the efforts of Ed McBrayer of the PATH Foundation and Kelly Jordan of the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance. They really helped us to turn this vision into a reality," Middlebrooks said.

Long-term plans call for the trail to ultimately connect to a network that will extend from the Monastery to include the Atlanta Beltline and ultimately go beyond the Silver Comet Trail.

"We are pleased to that the first phase of this trail is being enjoyed by so many of our residents, and we look forward to expanding this amenity," Middlebrooks said.

The CRETE Award was announced at the inaugural ARC Regional Roundtable and Awards Luncheon held Dec. 7.

Ric Latarski can be reached at ric.latarski@rockdalecitizen.com.